An Invitation to LeBron James

Appreciation Invitation.

This video is in appreciation of the inspiration LeBron James has been to the students of Driftwood Middle school.  It is the proof that collaboration, determination, and dedication can bring out the best qualities of a community that is based on trust and love.  We at Driftwood Middle school love our students and we worked as a team of faculty, staff, parents, and students to create this vision to have LeBron James come out to our school.  The teachers have been assisting the students in becoming the best writers they can be and had them apply their talents and skills into writing  essays to describe what it would mean to them for the Heat to come visit them on campus.  The Language Arts teachers then compiled all of the essays and selected a few students to be interviewed.  All of the essays were placed in a binder to be sent to the Miami Heat basketball team this weekend.  The student’s were then video taped within 2 days and the video was completed within 3 days.

It just so happens that we have about 50 faculty, staff, and their families attending this Sunday’s game against Charlotte and we were inspired to honor and appreciate LeBron James for his positive influence in our communities.  We honor him as a leader, and for his charity work.  We dedicate this video to his “I Promise” program, where students promise to go to school and live safe and healthy lives by making good choices for themselves.

Our goal is for The Miami Heat Team to watch our video and be motivated to come see for themselves the waves they are creating in our local schools.  Specifically, we would like for LeBron James to come out and be our honorary guest.

Please help us with this goal and share this story and video.

Thank you, and may your kindness be rewarded.

Victoria Trujillo-Cortellese

 

The Great and Powerful Oz

As a fan of the Wicked Witch from Oz, this new prequel to the classic “Wizard of Oz”, was a nice family movie. It had a lot of great homages to the original, but disappointed in the area of he witches. In the midst of all of the the “Twilight” sagas and the vampire lore, this was a great opportunity to provide a new foundation of witch lore and the story failed to do that. Instead, Disney used an old movie formula of creating a love triangle to create the villain. The villain, the Wicked Witch, played by Mila Kunis lacked strength. This is a character we loved to hate in the original telling of Oz, and is such an iconic character with her cackling voice, that she needed to be strong. Especially now that there is a Broadway smash, Wicked, which has such a strong following and does such an amazing job building this character. Disney basically was handed a promotional vehicle which would have driven audiences wild. But they deterred from any originality and created a weak villain. Although Disney has some great villains in their stories they seem to build them on the thought that a villain is created from one single bad life experience as opposed to a series of unfortunate circumstances.
Zack Braff seemed to steal a lot of the scenes as Oz’s flying monkey assistant. Oz, played by James Franco, was ok in my opinion, but I am not a big fan of him as an actor. My husband and I did find humor in the fact that this is his second movie in which he plays a character alongside a monkey/ape, Planet of the Apes being the other movie (side note: the latter movie was great). Another character that was introduced that had some great scenes and comic relief was the China girl. Her strong character made up for her delicate exterior and I thought that was brilliant. Glinda the Good was excellent in her calm nature and single desire to make sure the people of Oz were protected. She was a great antagonist and her relationship with the evil sisters was justified and told with a lot of sincerity. The audience can follow and understand her purpose in the movie, unlike Theodora’s character, the Wicked Witch, which seems to derive from the heart broken little sister.
Disney should have just stuck with Racel Weiz as the Wicked Witch and they would have had a strong back story, character, and actress that would have left fans, like me, satisfied. Instead they tried selling me a side kick witch with a weak back story. My advice to Disney is to keep writing Princess stories and leave the Villains alone. Leave those stories for people that have experienced true tragedy. Maybe they should take some of their tragic princess stories and turn them into Villains because the only difference between their princesses and villains is perspective.

Please go watch the movie for yourself and have your own opinion of it, this is just my point of view and you may not agree with it. After the movie please come back and post your perspective on the movie, I would love to hear back from you and what you thought.

Teachers always “borrow” from other teachers, and here is a great resource to borrow.

The iPad Investigation

I love learning about new things, I think that the majority of people (especially teachers) do. Although its been around for a while now, I realised that I hadn't posted about iTunesU.

For those who haven't come across iTunesU before, it's the education section of the iTunes Store. It has a vast collection of free courses from a variety of university's, schools and private individuals which anyone can take.

When you open the app you need to click on the catalog button to search for courses you wish to add.

There are lots if different courses you can take, but I quite like going to the 'Teaching and Learning' section, to see what education related courses there are.

You can also search for courses. I tried searching for 'iPad Education' and found this course, which I have now added to my library.

What I like about the courses is…

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An Alternative to Powerpoint

In looking for new FREE apps to download into my iPad2 for use on my classroom, I stumbled upon Prezi.  I use custom made powerpoints or download pre made SMART board lessons from Promethean Planet or SMART to use for classroom instruction or as a SMART board station for students to work at independently as they finish classwork or to re-emphasize important concepts.  Today’s student needs more than just a talking head in front of them, they need engagement and inspiration.  How does a teacher compete with the “outside” world of advertising?  ANSWER: Go to the “outside” world and use what the advertisers are using.

Prezi.com makes powerpoints a thing of the past.  This is an alternative to presenting information to a group of people, not just for classroom use, with a dynamic perspective.  With a choice of different templates and styles, presentations can take on a new meaning by focusing on what’s important by making use of it’s unique zoom in/zoom out feature.  In working with the program on my iPad I discovered that it is even easier to use on a computer. The features are beautiful, with an array of styles available and the ability to reuse templates from other users.  The site, prezi.com , requires a signup and offers three levels of monthly pricing with the cheapest being FREE.

I encourage anyone that creates presentations to visit the site and explore the possibilities.  The WOW effect is pretty much a guarantee with this communication tool that can be shared and simultaneously be used from across the world.  Give it a try and look for the “Free Fall Template” found under “All Public Prezis”.